A great thing about rowing is that if you don’t live close to water, you can of course just use a rowing machine in the gym (but real rowing is way more fun!). The movement uses your legs, arms, back, shoulders and core, all in one (hopefully) fluid movement. Plus, it’s a great aerobic workout!
Now this activity does unfortunately require you to live close to the sea, but mastering surfing has to be one of the most rewarding sports out there. You’re at one with the mighty ocean, and you immediately appear 10 time cooler as soon as you have a surfboard in your arms. But seriously, in paddling out, duck diving, surfing, your whole body is used, particularly your core (hello cheese-grater abs), to get yourself up on that wave.
Yes, it’s a niche sport, or let’s just say it used to be niche. Indoor walls have revolutionised the sport and it’s now available to us all. Even just bouldering (climbing without ropes – the walls are only about 4 metres with protective mats below, don’t worry), is a great full body workout that not only works your muscles hard and gives you a great aerobic workout, but it also requires you to be flexible.
Talking of flexibility…yoga and pilates not only help to improve your flexibility, but they provide a great workout for the whole body, particularly your core. Seriously, if you don’t believe us, try going to an hour’s yoga/pilates class, you’ll work up a sweat and will be feeling sore all over the next day!
Like surfing, kayaking is unfortunately dependent on your proximity to water, but it’s certainly one to try. Back, shoulders, arms and another cracking core workout. There’s nothing better than gliding through the water, propelled by your bulging biceps hey? But just make sure, if you’re new to kayaking, perhaps it’s wise to paddle against the tide/current on the way out…otherwise that paddle back in could be a real suffer-fest.
More water! Thankfully the genius invention of swimming pools has saved us here though, so no excuses. Swimming is a fantastic low-impact sport, that is often used in recovery methods. So, if perhaps your joints can no longer withstand the impact of twisting and turning playing rugby, or the monotonous pounding that comes with running, then swimming could be one for you. A great all-round muscle worker, but it also works your heart and gets you puffing. The more puff the better, right?
You could argue that calisthenics is pretty much the same as the gym, and yes, it is indeed similar. But, using just a set of bars (pull up and dip bars mainly) can be a great way to spruce things up if you’re getting bored in the gym. There are so many sets of outdoors bars available, and the endless combinations of bodyweight exercises can be a much more fun way to fit in your workout than just the same old weights routines.
So, there you go. If you’re getting bored in the gym, just move on and try something new. There are so many other ways to achieve full-body workouts, and pretty much all of them offer a better overall environment than being surrounded by a load of, let’s be honest, often testosterone fueled, grunting, meatheads. We’re not saying give up on the gym, we’re just saying if you’re not as motivated as you once were, try something new and invigorating!